Everything You Need To Know To Have a Great Semester

I was thinking of what kind of post I wanted to do to kick off the semester, and I just really couldn’t decide.

semester study tips, health tips

There are so many helpful tidbits of information I could feed to you right about now – how to wake up early for your classes, how to stay organized, great school lunch recipes….the list goes on and on. In the spirit of it being 20-freaking-17 and this semester being the one where we all finally decide we are going to take the world by storm, do great, and have fun…let’s just cover it all, shall we?

I get a lot of questions during the semester about all things “how to succeed in school”, and I thought I’d just compile all those here and do like a little “everything you need to know to survive the semester” Q&A style post.

Let’s get started because you probably have to organize your agenda or head to class soon.

How do you wake up early for your classes or to get stuff done before classes?

Easy peezy, girlfriend. You go to bed on-time and you wake up with purpose. Set a “bedtime” alarm on your phone for about 30 minutes before you’d like to hit the hay, so you can stop what you’re doing, be responsible and take off your makeup, and maybe even prep breakfast or lunch for the next day. Make sure you’re creating a good sleep environment with minimized electronics and maybe some cool lavendar pillow mist.

Wake up with intention. Make a (small and not-so-overwhelming) list of things you’d like to get accomplished in the morning (i.e. watch an online lecture, water your plants, clean your bathroom) or even schedule a workout class or study date, so you get out of bed.

What’s an easy, quick healthy breakfast

1. Overnight oats were my everything when I had 7:30 a.m. classes. 1 cup of almond milk, 1/2 a cup oats, in the fridge overnight. Microwave for 1 minute in the morning (maybe as you brew your coffee) and add desired toppings.

2. If you’re not an oatmeal person, bag up the ingredients for a smoothie and have them ready in your freezer. I’ll be doing a “What I Eat in a Day: School Edition” on the blog soon, so you can get my smoothie recipe there! I often post them on my Snapchat, too. (cristina.snaps)

3. Can’t run a blender because your roomies are sleeping? Hate oatmeal? Spread almond butter or peanut butter on a rice cake (I like apple cinnamon ones) and add fruit toppings like banana and strawberries!

I have a long commute, how can I use my time wisely?

If you’re driving yourself…podcasts, podcasts, podcasts!!! My three favorites, ranked: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, The Anxiety Guru, and Adulthood Made Easy by Real Simple. Send me any recommendations you have though because I need new ones!

If you’re taking a bus (i.e. you yourself are not driving) bring reading material! Diving into a book that stimulates your mind is much better than scrolling on your phone. I love Philosophy books and self-help books. Try “Mindfulness”…that’s my favorite! (And is bargained priced at Barnes and Noble.) Or I know my boyfriend is really loving, “The Key to Character”.

How do I meet new people at school?

I’m not one to tell you to join every organization in the hopes of meeting “your people”. While that is a really great way to do it, I know some things like time and money can hold you back from registering for every club. Instead, just try chatting with people in class. Get there early, say hi to those that sit next to you, maybe ask them about the textbook or the homework. You won’t be immediate best friends, but over the course of the semester, it will be nice to have someone you can chat with in class. Who knows! I’ve had great friends come of this and now we hang out outside of class.

How do I stay organized?

I did a whole post on that here, but in short, don’t keep a ton of trash you don’t need, clean out your backpack regularly, and keep two seperate notebooks for your Mon/Wed/Fri classes and Tu/Th classes.

What’s a good healthy lunch option I can bring to campus?

I love a good veggie wrap. You can buy any kind of tortilla or pita (even gluten free kinds) and then add in your spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados….really whatever veggies you like! I like to add hummus instead of something like mayo. I also like making grain bowls with brown rice, black beans, and a ton of veggies (kind of like a DIY Chipotle burrito bowl) because it travels well in a Tupperware.

How do I fit workouts in during a busy semester?

Schedule them! If it’s on your calendar, you can work around it. Sign up for your classes at the gym, barre, or yoga studio online, so you have an actual reservation to get to. If you’re just trying to go for a run on your own or go to your local gym, still schedule those work-out times in your planner.

What’s the best way to organize my planner?

I got a post on that for you here, and I also mention it in my “Study With Me” Youtube video.

How do I get everything crossed off my to-do list for the day?

First off, don’t put anything on that to-do list that isn’t do-able, capeesh? If you know you aren’t going to get around to cleaning your car because you have a hectic day, don’t put it on there and set yourself up for any kind of disappointment. Be reasonable.

Tackle the big tasks firsts. Make your phone calls in the morning, try to schedule any meetings early, and if you have a big to-do like going to the DMV or putting some final touches on a project, grab some coffee first thing in the morning and work then. By the end of the day, only the little things will be left and you’ll love that!


I hope this little Q&A post helped you!

If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll give you my best advice!

Follow me around through my first week back at school on Instagram and Snapchat (cristina.snaps)!